People Staff
April 29, 1996 12:00 PM

“Thank you for the spectacular issue,” wrote Tricia Marrapodi of Tucson concerning our Oscars coverage (PEOPLE, April 8). “It was as intriguing as the show itself.” After that, though, correspondents took us to task for a variety of perceived Oscar slights and oversights. Readers also continued the heated debate over our earlier story on the scarcity of African-Americans in Hollywood.


I’m appalled at your tacky cover displaying yet another big-busted star in a low-cut dress and the “boob fest” of photos inside. After all, your magazine is placed in waiting rooms and living rooms across the country. Just because these actresses are low-class enough to flaunt their cleavage doesn’t mean you have to picture every one of them.


St. Louis Park, Minn.

I was surprised to see Elisabeth Shue where winner Susan Sarandon should have been on your cover. And your Brad Pitt obsession is starting to get a little scary. Shouldn’t an Oscar issue feature the deserving winners rather than the flavor of the month?

SUSAN MICHAEL, Austin, Texas

Kevin Spacey made the Academy Awards worth watching, not only by winning a most-deserved Best Supporting Actor award, but with his elegant acceptance speech. To barely mention him, and not print his picture, is a huge injustice to him and his fans.


PEOPLE takes 11 pages in the March 18 issue to excoriate the Academy for its hypocrisy in presuming to honor the best in film when, in reality, racism in the movie industry excludes worthy nominees of color. Then, in the April 8 issue, you devote a cover and 14 pages to slavishly covering every aspect of this year’s Oscars. Who’s the hypocrite?



I was dismayed by the negative letters you got criticizing your “Hollywood Blackout” cover story, especially the one accusing blacks of “whining” when we mention discrimination. Talking about racism doesn’t fan the flames—ignoring it does.

RENÉE NEWBOLD, Newport News, Va.

I am a 20-year veteran of the film industry and currently a professor of cinema. I am also African-American. The response to your article showed with disturbing accuracy that white and black Americans often view the world in vastly different ways. But whites are not the only ones to blame here. I’ve seen too many black filmmakers forgo their integrity for the sake of a dollar or a pat on the head. I would hate to see the industry I love degenerate into two artistic camps—one black, one white. But until white people acknowledge a point of view other than their own, and until black people admit their culpability in their failures, then an honest discussion about this tragedy will continue to elude us.


Most of the letters you published in response to “Hollywood Blackout” were appalling. Here’s an idea for those white Americans who have decided that blacks have no basis for complaint: We’ll stop protesting when you stop firebombing black churches, demanding segregated cemeteries and turning a blind eye to institutional racism. Deal?

V.A. CARNEY, Stowe, Vt.

People are tired of having this issue pushed down their throats by the liberal media.



I do not know if churches will ever stop being burned down or the tears of pain will ever stop flowing. I do know that all races in this country need to wake up and realize that the isolation and degradation of any race or color will only keep us all down by breeding hate generation after generation.

NlCHOLE HlNES, Kansas City, Mo.


So Christiaan Barnard’s greatest regret is having endorsed Glycel. I wonder if his two former wives and the children from those marriages would agree with that assessment. His rationalizing his philandering and his cavalier attitude toward his familial commitments, including his current wife, reveal to me that the famed doctor seems not to have what he gave others—a heart.

CATHERYN NOLEN, Petaluma, Calif.

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